Friday, October 30, 2009

Caution - Shawl-fest ahead

Ahem, well yes, I am still alive, thanks! Although you couldn't tell by checking in here!

Back a couple of months ago, I was taken by small shawl fever. There are so many great patterns for them right now, and really, all you need is a skein of sock yarn to get started! So, I just jumped right in! If you are looking for pattern ideas, and have a ravelry account, check out the Small Shawl KACAL thread in the Sundara Yarn Love group for even more ideas. There are probably similar threads in other groups. Be forewarned though, besides lots of drooling over gorgeous knits, your queue will be creaking with all the new additions!

About the same time the fever struck, I got my hands on my first ball of Zauberball. This stuff is lovely, and right in small shawl yardage range! Just look at this!

Schoppell-Wolle Zauberball, color #1993, Creme of Chocolate
(stop drooling on my yarn!!!)

I used it to make this lovely scarf:

Pattern: Herbivore, by Steven West
Needles: US 6
Yarn: about 1/2 skein Zauberball

I made this scarf size, so used only 1/2 ball or so. I am tempted to undo the bind-off, and use the rest of the ball to make it larger, as it is such a lovely pattern, with entertaining twists. I loved working with this yarn! I have two more balls, one in Fresh Fish, which is rainbow colored. I will probably make colorful socks with it. The other is in one of the Crazy colorways, Flussbett, which is translated as Riverbed. I want to make a Wisp with it, like this lovely example. (rav link)

Next up:

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda
Needles: US 6
Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! in Goldenrod Crab Spider

This was one very special skein of yarn! Bugga! is difficult to get, and this particular color is not terribly easy to get either. It is a lovely chartreuse with golden brown hints here & there. I have been saving it for a special project, and Ishbel is a great one. Very enjoyable to knit, and there are many ways you can modify the number of pattern sequences to get the end result you want. I was going for the small stockinette, large lace combo that several people have made with similar yardage. As it turned out, I was a few rows short of being able to finish the full sequence. Although my shawl does not have the usual points on it, I think it still looks good. The alternative would be to frog much of the last sequence and have a rather large bit of leftover yarn. I don't think I will go back and do this.


Pattern: Ulmus by Kirsten Kapur
Needles: US 5
Yarn: Sundara sock in Brambleberry, 1 skein
Shibui sock in Wasabi, 2 skeins

The Sundara sock in Brambleberry is another special yarn that was waiting for a special project. It has a range of browns, with hints of purple, and splashes of an appley green very similar to the Shibui sock in Wasabi. I received it as part of my Autumn Seasons subscription for Sundara yarn (which is no longer being offered). After browsing the many lovely color combos of Ulmus shawls on ravelry, I decided this would be a great combo. It is a shame, but I don't think the picture really does justice to just what a lovely color combination it is. There is more vibrancy to it, in real life. It was such a pleasant knit, that before I had even finished it, I got yarn for another Ulmus. By the number of second and third Ulmus projects on ravelry, I would say that this experience has happened to many people!!!

Most recently off the needles:

Pattern: Milkweed by Laura Chau
Needles: US 4
Yarn: Sundara sock in "End of Day"

I was inspired by a lovely shawl which I saw in the Small Shawl thread mentioned above. Sundara yarns, like SG Bugga! (Ishbel above), are not easy yarns to get. But, you can often get the Sundara yarns from someone on ravelry who may be selling skeins in colors they like less in order to get ones they like more. That is how I picked up this skein of End of Day. Wow, just watching the colors change as you knit is a treat! I especially loved watching the deep dark colors in this skein go by. I listened to an audio book while making this, Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, so I think of that book every time I pick this up. I highly recommend the book, as well as the pattern!

The pattern is an easy, pleasant knit, but don't zone out! I lost track of the number of repeats of one of the charts, and had to frog back about 10 rows or so to make it right. It was a good thing I did, because I finished with only about 2 grams of yarn left!

So, has the fever passed? Not really! I have another Ulmus on my list, and this lovely shawl from knitty. But, at some point I do want to break away and make a few yummy warm sweaters. TTFN!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

And now, for something completely different!!!

I couldn't even say how many years it has been since I did any sewing, but it has been a long time.  More than 5 years, at least.  Well, not too long ago I was catching up on my blog reading, when I followed a link and ended up here.  I got so inspired by the lovely fabrics like this, and this, that I decided it was time for a little sewing.  

Ta Da!!!

Fabric:  Amy Butler Acanthus in Olive

Lining:  Amy Butler Coriander in Olive

Pattern:  Practical Bag by Tanya Whelan

I modified the pattern a bit, because each side of the bag is made in two pieces, sewn together down the center.  I wanted to keep the full acanthus motif on each side of the bag, so I cut it out with the center of the pattern on the fold of the fabric, which was folded down the center of the motif. (make sense?)  Because of the motif placement on the fabric, it made the bag maybe an inch or so narrower than the pattern, a small sacrifice to be able to have this lovely design complete on each side.  

I also added a pocket inside, but forgot to do it before I sewed the lining in, so I sewed it in by hand.  And last, I added a few beads and some ribbon.  I'll see how I like this last bit when I've used my new bag for a while.  It is easy to take off if I decide I don't like it.

My finished bag!

Potholder Swap (It's about time!)

I have neglected to post about the very fun Potholder Swap held by helloyarn and Adrian.  Back in March they put out a call for people to sign up for a swap.  Each participant was to crochet 5 potholders of the same design (varying colors OK) & send them in.  At the end of the swap, 5 new potholders from various participants would be mailed out to each person.

Here are my potholders that I made & sent in:

Pattern:  from this book
Yarn:  elann Sonata in many colors!
Mods: many, both to meet swap specs & to make functional.  Details here.

I sent off my potholders on May 15th.  So, the deadline passed on June 8th, and I received my swap potholders this week!  Here is what I found when I got home on Tuesday:

Starting with the green one on the left & going clockwise, they are from:  Erin M, Jenny, Bertha, flintknits, and colorandtexture.  

I love them!  What a fun swap!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I just finished a long 4-day weekend from work, Thursday through Sunday.  This was my first real time off from work since the April 15th tax deadline (and that is All I am saying about work!).  I decided that this long weekend would be totally devoted to R&R, and enjoying all my creative pursuits.  I shamelessly ignored my messy house completely, and just enjoyed myself for four full days doing all the things that I love, and that I have missed for the last three months.

Of course, knitting was involved!  I finished my first lace shawl ever - from this:

to this:

Shetland triangle by Evelyn Clark (rav link) from Scarf Style
Yarn:  Sundara Aran Silky Merino, color "Good Morning"
Needles:  size 9

I had this sweater done all the way to the underarms about 3 or 4 weeks ago, when I realized that it was looking just gigantic!  I couldn't deal with fixing it until this weekend, when I completely frogged and re-knit it back to the same point again (to the underarms, read to start sleeves).  I went down a size, stitch-wise, and also went down one needle size.  The main part of the body is knit in reverse stockinette in the round, so you are purling all the time, except for the pattern inset.  I think my gauge is just looser for purling than knitting.  (This color is not so blinding in real life - It is a lovely deep rosy fuschia)

Pattern:  Vaila by Gudrun Johnson
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted in color "Geranio"
Needles:  size 9 for ribbing, size 7 for body

I watched "The Boy in Striped Pyjamas."  A great movie, but sad, as it is a WWII movie.  I also watched about 6 or 7 episodes of the Sherlock Holmes series starring Jeremy Brett.  He is the most awesome Holmes I could ever imagine!  I have seem all of these episodes many times, and still love them.  No one but Jeremy Brett will ever be the real Holmes for me!

I cooked my favorite spring vegetable risotto, with lemon, asparagus and morel mushrooms.  Mmmmmmmm!!!!!!!

I spent a great couple of days working in my journal.  I worked on a couple of pages, one I consider finished (Incredible), the other is still in progress, but I love how it is shaping up!  I especially enjoyed working in my visual journal - I have not done this for a while, and I was really missing it.

"She can do Incredible Things"


My messy creative space:

(notice how I cleverly time-traveled into the future to take all these photos!!!)

I went to a bead show.  The main reason that I went was to find beads to go with my Wollmeise lace yarn in Single Malt that I plan to use for making Shipwreck, (at  I knew there would be the right kind of beads, and that the selection would be great.  It was,  and I found just what I needed:

While I was there, I took the Beading 101 class that was going on, and made these:

and bought beads to make this:

and this:

These last two are both made with Kazuri beads.  They are made by African women to support their families, so there is a good story behind them.  They are also beautiful!  I am not a beader - I have very limited experience with beading.  But, these are so beautiful that it is hard to go wrong!

I also made it to dance practice tonight for the first time in several weeks.  (Romanian folk dance)  We have several performances coming up in May & early June, so it is time I get back to it!

And last, but not least, I finally got a new blog post up!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

So, yes, knitting has been happening, even though blogging hasn't.  There is this:

Pattern:  Sylvi
Yarn:  Briggs & Little Atlantic, in Red
Bought at:  Weaving Rainbow
Needles:  10 1/2
Started:  November 28, 2008
Finished:  February 27, 2009

This really was a pretty quick knit.  I just worked on a lot of other little projects during that time too, and  of course, there were the holidays.  Lovely pattern!  Well written, great charts, and lots of support on ravelry for any questions that come up.  I love this sweater!!!  This is the most awesome thing I have ever knit!  Gauge was perfect, the fit was good, no pattern modifications, it was just a very fun & rewarding project!  I have worn it to work many times since it was finished.  Ravelry link  

I am now working on this, which I just love!  And, it uses Malabrigo as the recommended yarn, which is a big plus!  I am using color Geranio.  (Not raveled yet)

New excitement - I signed up for Hello Yarn's potholder swap!  Each person makes 5 crocheted potholders, sends them in, and receives 5 potholders that other people have made.  I'm excited!  In years past, I did much more crocheting than knitting.  It is satisfyingly fast, compared to knitting.  I haven't done much crochet in quite a while, so this will be fun!   It will also be my first swap.  Hello out there, if other swappers stop by!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I just can't resist

I especially love the question about "real life."

Still busy knitting!

Hi there!

I have been quite busy with knitting projects, but due to an intense work schedule, I don't have much time for blogging about it.  So, this is a catch up on my latest projects.

First off, I took an entrelac class to start the year.  It met on two Sundays, at local shop Purl Knit Cafe, with Kate Starr.  I used some silk garden from my stash, to do this.  It was a fun class, and Kate is a great teacher!  I wanted an intro to entrelac, as I have had in my queue for some time now the Lady Eleanor shawl pattern.  I have some Noro Slver Thaw for it, and I think it will be beautiful!  No longer intimidated - I picked up this skill right away.  It is not as difficult as I expected.

And, do you recognized this?  It is only one of the most gorgeous patterns available right now!  

from Twist Collective, Winter 2008
Yarn:  Briggs & Little Atlantic
Needles:  size 10 1/2

Atlantic is a bulky yarn, and once you sit down & really start working on this pattern, it goes fast!  Don't be intimidated by all the cable & leaves.  The pattern is well written, and logical.  I have the back, left front & sleeves all finished, and am up to the armhole shaping on the front right.  I am hoping to block the pieces & sew together this weekend.

I do have one more project started recently, but will post about that later.  Sylvi is really the star project right now!